I have big problems with my husband, as he, after eight years of marriage, has started to complain about everything that I do. He insults me every day and tells me that the only responsibility that he has towards me is to financially support me, meaning that he does not want to give me more children (we have three, aged three, five, and seven). Also, when we got married I weighed 54 kilos. I weigh 53 kilos now, and he says that I am too skinny, so he does not want to be intimate with me. I eat normally, but the problem is that I have too much stress in my life, which prevents me to gain weight. In the interest of our children, I have made hijrah (emigration) with them to an Islamic country. My mother-in-law has been really bad with me and the children here, and my husband knows about that, but we do not have money to rent another home. I want to divorce from my husband, but he says that his condition is that I write a contract saying that I will never marry again. I agreed, but he still does not give me the divorce. I am in bad situation since I cannot get a job here and cannot take the children and go back to where we used to live because the government wants to steal our children. Being married to my husband, who abuses me mentally, and being around his mom has caused my faith to become very low, and it had never been low before. I feel like I am sacrificing too much for my children’s sake and to make my husband happy, but all he does is complain. It is impossible to make him happy; he wants to control everything and fights about small things, like where I put the bread or how I bathe the children. My husband does not give me any rights except for money for me and the children. My patience has totally vanished. He gets worse every time he comes to visit us, and his older brother and mom like to cause problems in our marriage.
May Allah make it easy for you and reward you for seeking advice, because in these issues that you are facing, it is difficult to remain focused on what is the right decision, even if it goes against your desire. In situations like this, many people focus on their immediate comfort as a solution when they cannot take it anymore, but we have to look at the outcome of decisions so that we do not regret them in the future.
From your letter, I understand that you left your home country for the sake of Allah and made hijrah trying to protect the children’s identity as Muslims and trying to live a life that is pleasing to Allah.
If that is the case and the goal is to do what is pleasing to Allah while seeking the reward of the Hereafter, you have to understand certain things in order to help you understand the advice that I will give you at the end:
1- The Uboodiyyah (servitude) and worship to Allah are unconditional for the believers. We are created to worship Allah alone.
2- The Uboodiyyah to Allah is required under any circumstances, at times of ease, at times of difficulty, being poor or rich, and also when dealing with marriage and relationships in general.
3- To achieve the Uboodiyyah, all people are tested; some with ease, and some with difficulties, and Allah, the Most Wise, knows best who deserves what. Some people are tested with matters of ease and happiness in this life; wealth, a good husband, good relationships, children, etc., and others are tested with difficulties; poverty, sickness, bad husband, etc. No one is less than the other, these are just different tests, and everyone should turn to Allah, the Most High.
Having said that, looking into your case, you need to understand that this is a test from Allah for you to do the right thing seeking rewards from Allah. Your case has two folds; yourself and your husband. As for your husband, he needs to consult a person of knowledge (a scholar). Either you advise him if he listens to you, or you try to reach out to someone who can help him and seek help and advice from a scholar or the righteous people in his town. You are not responsible for your husband’s behavior, but you are responsible for your own behavior and actions. Therefore, I advise you to do the following:
1- Focus on your faith first, that is your responsibility; repent to Allah, make istighfar (asking for forgiveness), pray on time, supplicate, wake up during the last third of the night and pray and supplicate, give charity, etc. You should do whatever increases your faith.
2- Never say: my husband caused my faith to be low; that is not an excuse. Faith increases with good deeds, and one of the good deeds is having patience. Patience is bitter and does not feel good, but it is a great act of worship. Leave the results to Allah and be patient.
3- Being patient means that you fulfill the rights of Allah in your life as well as the rights of your husband, and that you take every verbal or mental abuse from him as an expiation of sins and for reward from Allah. In other words, ignore your husband’s bad actions towards you, and focus on the actions of Allah. The action of Allah is that He is testing you through your husband, so show Allah your good patience.
4- Do not ask for a divorce now, but work on your faith, as I mentioned, and take care of your kids and husband. The more you turn to Allah with supplications and steadfastness, the more things will change, Allah willing.
5- Many women encountering similar situations like you divorce, and then they return to their own countries, where their faith changes and they lose a lot, especially those having children, etc.
6- Your husband is wrong according to what you wrote, but you are only responsible for your own actions, and Allah can change his heart if you turn to Allah alone seeking help by reciting Quran and being steadfast in the matters related to faith.
7- If you try that for some time, then you may let us know if there is any improvement.
May Allah bless your marriage, soften your husband’s heart, and reward you for your patience.